What should you do with the awkward space above kitchen cabinets?

This is a good question, as it is tricky to decorate, and a fairly common inquiry from my family and friends.  Thank you to my good friend, Meghan Fiorina, for suggesting I blog about it!  

First off, unless your kitchen’s style is country, the use of baskets & plants should be avoided (Sorry Mom!!).  I personally would take a simple approach, as I feel you want to focus on the overall design of the kitchen and not detract from it.  One of the simplest ways to enhance the space above the cabinets is to just add rope lighting above to create a nice ambiance.  


Such warmth is added with the lights above the cabinets in this kitchen. 

If you are looking for something a little more decorative, than you can do this with plates & pottery.  Again, more often than not, less is more when you are looking to decorate above your cabinets.  The items above your cabinets are merely just an accent to what beautiful space you already have. 


Country Living
If you want to bring in a little color than plates are a good place to do so.  In this case the plates are all uniform in size, and vary slightly from pattern to pattern. 


This pewter collection is showcased on top of these cabinets, and backed by various white plates.  The plates behind the pewter add a little depth, and still the monochromatic scheme is subtle. 


I always tell people that decorating above your cabinets should be similar to decorating your mantle.  You want it to accent what you are decorating, not deterring from it.  The beautiful pottery and serving ware looks beautiful on this hood mantle. 


Both lights and servingware are used in this application.  The lights behind enhance the plates, cake stand, etc. and give some more interest.


Due to the lack of molding, the cabinet simplicity allows these cabinets to act like a shelf above.  While using similar pottery and china as what is in the cabinets, you hardly notice the majority of china is inside the cabinets. 
Homedezine.blogspot.com
If you are going a little more Tuscan, than this is for you.  This designer combined both pottery, and art to create a homey space above her cabinets. (Mom:  Recognize the Southern Living at Home Decor?!)

Have any more ideas on how to decorate the space above cabinets?  Please share your ideas as I would love to hear them!
  • sandy

    Do these lights need to be plugged in and out every day. I could run them along the top of my microwave cabinet and drill a hole through the top of the cabinet but i would need to stand on a chair to plug them in all the time. Confused

    • essencedesigns

      Hi Sandy, We usually have them plug the lights into an outlet above or in a cabinet, but then have that outlet powered by a switch… so to turn on and off the lights, you would turn on a light switch that controls the outlet the lights are plugged into. Otherwise, lights can be hardwired to a switch. The way you mentioned above can be done, but it is much more convenient to have a handyman or electrician do it properly… so you don’t have to plug them in and out every time you use them.

      We have never tried this, but if you want to keep them plugged in all the time, you may be able to have them on a timer or a remote… similar to what you would do for Christmas lights. Maybe something like this: http://www.amazon.com/SANOXY-Remote-Control-BH9936-3-Switches/dp/B0064PKG3Q/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1381369391&sr=8-4&keywords=remote+christmas+light+switch

      I hope that helps and doesn’t confuse you more!